How to Standup Paddleboard Safely: Tips From Experts
Standup paddleboarding is one of the most popular water sports worldwide but according to the US coast guards’ statistics, 20% of water causalities take place due to the lack of safety measures while surfing, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding in the US. In fact, standup paddlers may incur severe risk if they do not adhere to paddleboarding safety standards.
Indeed, standup paddleboarding is an interesting sport and it is good for health too. However, it can be risky if you are not careful enough. The risk is equal for both beginners and ace paddlers if the safety measures are not followed. Take a quick look at the safety tips on paddleboarding. This will give you a fair idea about how to do standup paddleboarding safely.
Check the weather before you make your plan
A stormy climate makes water turbulent and it is risky to do paddleboarding in bad climate. Even a sunny sky may turn cloudy and stormy. Therefore, it is always wise to check weather forecast before you schedule your water surfing activity.
In most cases, coast guards are aware of tides, impending cyclone threat, and unusual climate condition. It is therefore safe to contact coast guards before you start your surfing journey. This measure is especially applicable for ocean surfing. However, lakes, rivers, and bay canals may become disturbed during stormy climate as well. It is better to avoid foul weather to enjoy this water sport.
Always use a board leash
Whether you are board paddling in the ocean or in river, it is always wise and safe to use a board leash. The use of leash will increase your balance on the board and will help you stay stable. In case you slip your grip on the board, this leash will serve as your life-saving component.
Different types of board leashes are available in the market. While beginners should select a straight leash, seasoned surfers may go for coiled variety so that they can enjoy zigzag motion and higher speed of propelling while paddleboarding.
Beware of your surroundings
While you are board paddling, you are certainly not alone on the water bed. Other people may be enjoying this sport at the same venue. Check your surroundings and stay clear of others so that you do not collide.
Your paddling should not put others in trouble. This usually happens with beginners as they can hardly control the drifting of their paddle boards. Whether you are a seasoned paddler or a beginner, always check the area around yourself so that no one gets into any trouble.
Wear a life jacket
Wearing a life jacket may sound cliché, especially if you are a veteran paddler. However, you do not know when an accident can take place. Life jackets are now available in an improved variety that will not restrict your movement and you will not feel clumsy.
If it is a windy day or you are surfing on an ocean base, it is always safe to use life jacket. You may not look like a daredevil but you will definitely be safe from drowning if any accident occurs. In fact, one of the most essential safety measures for enjoying standup board paddling is using a quality life jacket. Safety measures always pay large dividends.
Try to find the best paddle
In standup paddle boarding, paddle plays a vital role. In order to be safe, you need to select the best possible paddle according to your height, body weight, and type of paddle board.
A universal rule of choosing a paddle is that you need to take a paddle that is at least 10 inches taller than your height to stay safe while enjoying boardpaddling. If necessary, you should consult an expert paddler before you buy or rent a paddle.
Get a good paddle board
If you are concerned about how to do standup paddleboarding safely, you simply cannot overlook the importance of selecting a suitable paddle board. If you are a seasoned surfer, you may go for mall and sleek paddle boards but if you are a beginner in this water sport, it is always recommended that you go for bigger and thicker paddle boards.
Always enjoy your paddle sport during day time
Standup paddling is a challenging sport any time of the day but if you try to do it in the dark after the sunset, it becomes dangerous. If you plan to travel a long way doing board paddling, make sure that you come back before darkness looms around. Whether you are a pro or daredevil, standup board paddling in the dark is never recommended.
Avoid rocky and dangerous sea zones
There are places in seemingly calm seas where undercurrent, half-submerged rocks, or whirling current make the area dangerous for surfing. Coast guards mark these areas as prohibited zones. It is always highly recommended to avoid these places for paddling sports.
It is always good to you inform your friends and family members about the place where you are going to paddleboard. This will keep them informed and if your return is delayed, they can immediately contact authorities to conduct a search.
Do not forget sunscreen and drinking water
When you are going boardpaddling for a long time, do not forget to take drinking water with you. Put ample amount of sunscreen on your skin so that you can avoid tanning or sun burn. As a preventive measure, you should take a sunglass and a sun hat to keep yourself safe from the sun.
Standup board paddling is a delightful water sport and it is extremely fun too as long as you know how to do standup paddleboarding safely. Follow the rules mentioned above and enjoy the speed and touch of wind on your face and hair.
I’m an Colorado native, who learned to surf in the Pacific Northwest, and SW Canada. I live inland near the mountains now, and love to get out on my SUP. It’s weird, but I love windy, choppy days as no-one is out and I like the challenge.
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